The Power of Mom

The Power of Mom

This post appeared in CQ Roll Call’s new Connectivity blog.

It’s almost Mother’s Day and 180 days until Election 2014. Of course it’s a good time to send a card or some flowers – but for public affairs professionals, it’s an even better time to reflect on the power and impact moms have on our country. Ann Romney got it right when she said, “It’s the moms of this nation – single, married, widowed – who really hold this country together…You’re the ones who always have to do a little more.” For those of us advancing issues in the legislative session, in the community, or in an election, the power and potential of America’s moms can’t be overstated.

How will moms vote in the upcoming midterm Congressional elections, the first since the implementation of the 2010 health care reform law? While it may not be crystal clear just yet, it’s crucial to remember that American women make 80 percent of the healthcare decisions for their families, according to the Department of Labor, and $2.7 trillion in annual consumer spending decisions. And that decision-making power will weigh heavily on them and candidates as moms head to the ballot box.

Over the years, we’ve been called lots of things: Soccer Moms, Walmart Moms, and this year, if Michael Bloomberg has his way, perhaps Gun Safety moms.

The former New York City mayor is banking $50 million this election cycle on Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella entity for two gun safety groups he controls, including Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety, whose aim is to make gun safety an issue in this election.

The big question for those of us who believe in the power of mom to impact this election and this legislative session, is how will we reach her and what will we say when we do? The good news is, we moms are overwhelmingly online. Ninety percent of us use the Internet, according to Edison Research. And increasingly, we’re part of a growing momosphere. In fact, 3.9 million U.S. moms identify themselves as bloggers.

Moms aren’t “one size fits all,” of course, and that’s what makes it fun and challenging for advocacy professionals to do what we do for a living. Moms need to be understood and communicated with – recognizing all the things we are and care about.

Moms are social media mavens. In fact, a joint study with BabyCenter.com and comScore found moms are 20 percent more likely to engage on social media than the general population. So how do you reach mom? Give them social media content that feeds their interests and give them the tools to make a difference.

In a study done this February, Yahoo’s advertising department found 70 percent of moms are more responsive to online ads that relate to their current online activities.

Yahoo also found that 25 percent of moms say they have a higher affinity with brands that sponsor content that interests them – like sponsoring recipes or sites that provide tips for dealing with children.

Big data opportunities abound to reach mom, whether you head to the voter file or commercial lists. But before you press send on your email, know this: millennial moms and baby boomer moms have varying online habits. According to a study by Yahoo, millennial moms are more likely to engage with social media, online video and streaming music. Baby boomer moms prefer more traditional forms of online content, like text articles.

Whether you blog, tweet, pin, email market or advertise, moms value content about topics that matter to them, are relevant to their current online activities, and feed their natural tendency to engage.

This Mother’s Day, while you’re pinning the corsage on mom – don’t forget her favorite online equivalent (Pinterest, of course.) And, be sure to recognize her undeniable power: as a social media influential, an advocate and a voter.

Happy Mother’s Day, Moms. You rule!